Leading from behind: An ethnographic study of business diplomacy in the making of free trade agreements in New Zealand

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dc.contributor.advisor Jackson, B en
dc.contributor.advisor Shore, C en
dc.contributor.author Maher, Sasha en
dc.date.accessioned 2012-08-14T22:45:59Z en
dc.date.issued 2012 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2292/19444 en
dc.description.abstract This thesis draws together theoretical strands from the literatures on international political economy, governmentality and the anthropology of policy to examine business engagement in the making of free trade agreements (FTAs) and trade policy in New Zealand. A small state, heavily dependent on the export of agricultural products, New Zealand, is considered a world leader in trade liberalisation and has been vociferous in its promotion of neoliberal trade principles since it began to open its borders in 1984. An assumption in the trade literature is that business, primarily motivated by profit, is at the forefront of pushing governments into free trade deals. Through a multi-sited ethnographic study of an informal business-government network undertaken over the course of eighteen months, I test that assumption and inquire into why business actors appear so keen to perform diplomatic functions. Using first-hand empirical fieldwork with actors who are active in the longstanding quest to obtain an FTA with the United States, the study seeks to open up the "black box" of business diplomacy and the rarely explored world of international trade negotiations. Known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, or TPP, New Zealand began discussions with the United States in the late 1990s, but only in 2008 did they enter into formal negotiations. The thesis tracks both the history of the TPP and subsequent developments in the negotiation rounds. A key finding from the thesis is that a form of economic nationalism, encapsulated in the term "NZ Inc", is being used to mobilise support from business for its trade policy initiatives. Business does not dictate the terms of FTAs; in New Zealand, the state steers the momentum for free trade. FTAs such as the TPP signal the state's preeminent role in trade policy-making but also highlight the state's tentative grip on sovereignty. By analysing the transformation of the state in an era of deepening economic integration, this thesis also contributes to debates in anthropology and business studies on the significance of leadership, diplomacy and soft power and how these concepts relate to new kinds of transnational subjects and spaces that are emerging in the interstices of power. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof PhD Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights.uri https://researchspace.auckland.ac.nz/docs/uoa-docs/rights.htm en
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/nz/ en
dc.title Leading from behind: An ethnographic study of business diplomacy in the making of free trade agreements in New Zealand en
dc.type Thesis en
thesis.degree.grantor The University of Auckland en
thesis.degree.level Doctoral en
thesis.degree.name PhD en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
pubs.author-url http://hdl.handle.net/2292/19444 en
dc.rights.accessrights http://purl.org/eprint/accessRights/OpenAccess en
pubs.elements-id 360176 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2012-08-15 en

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